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How Hard Are You Knocking? The Job Seeker's Guide to Opening Career Doors

By Timothy J. Augustine , Rana Curcio, John A. Challenger
Oakhill Press, 145 pages, $10.36

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Selling your own talents is becoming increasingly complicated in the face of globalization, outsourcing and downsizing. For job seekers, it's no longer a matter of having ability, a resume, and enthusiasm. Strategies are required for everything from targeting companies to tailoring resumes. How Hard Are You Knocking? is a primer to prepare you for your job hunt. Chock full of sound advice and step-by-step exercises, once you give this a read, you will wonder how you ever managed your search without it.

Author Tim Augustine conducts seminars and manages an Executive Recruitment firm, and he gives job seekers a clear window into the mindsets of hiring decision makers. How Hard Are You Knocking? begins with conducting an internal and an external assessment of your career goals and career target. The internal assessment encompasses issues like what will motivate you and what type of business culture you believe would allow you to thrive in. Determining external goals involves researching and listing companies that align with your unique skill set.

"Your resume is your 'ticket' into the world of employment and acts as a snapshot of your experiences, education and activities," writes Augustine. The book acknowledges that it is hard to impress hiring managers used to seeing so many resumes, and includes sample resumes designed to do just that.

How Hard Are You Knocking?'s approach is different because it encourages professionals to enter the job arena while they are still polishing and perfecting selling themselves. Augustine sings the praises of networking no matter where you are in your career. According to the author, seasoned professionals, those in between jobs and recent college graduates should all be mingling with established professionals in their fields of interest.

Augustine reserves most of his tactical secrets for the section on successful interviewing. It stresses dressing to make a good first impression, staying even-keeled under the pressure of an interview and tips for sniffing out opportunities for advancement. Interview questions are broken down into categories like Aptitude, Flexibility, Collaborating, Teamwork, and Communication. In addition, Augustine offers useful negotiating tips based on his extensive experience.

Written for pragmatic job seekers who want to take the mystery out of their job search, How Hard Are You Knocking? examines every step of a successful career path. It gives realistic methods for developing your professional identity and separating yourself from the pack. Although much of the book's advice seems aimed at recent college graduates, it speaks to any job seeker eager to sharpen their skills and test them on the open market.

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